Again this week I have had the opportunity to browse soe of the latest news articles that relate to our industry and thought I’d continue to share a number of these as I know they are quite popular
Today we are list 3 article that cover Small Business Big data, How outsourced CRM platform are best and a case study on CRM success for DirecTV.
Do small companies benefit from Big Data and CRM?
It emanates almost ubiquitously – seeping from the internet, business applications, machine logs and data logs. Big Data can help all sorts of businesses grow, making them more profitable and more strategic. Do small businesses really benefit from Big Data?
Big Data, often described as variety, velocity and volume, is a term that encompasses the massive amounts of information businesses collect from different sources. With the proper tools, businesses of any size can benefit from Big Data. A driving force behind the benefit of Big Data is applying algorithms and predictive models to draw value out of the data, which can then be used to solve specific business problems.
That’s where customer relationship management, or CRM, comes in. A CRM system helps to manage how a business works with both current and potential customers, and it is used primarily by the sales staff and managers. This type of system helps a company become more profitable by helping the sales staff close more deals while helping to create loyal, happy customers.
Those not familiar with CRM often think it is the same as Big Data. Although they aren’t the same thing, they are very closely connected. A CRM system can help extract value from Big Data. In other words, it helps to take all of that information and translate it into smart data that decision-makers can actually use.
The bottom line is that even the smallest of companies can benefit from today’s advanced CRM systems that integrate easily with Big Data to mine out what really matters. CRM helps businesses cut through the noise and levels the playing field, which allows for businesses – even small businesses – to compete on a wide, if not global, level.
Outsourcing data analytics with CRM in mind
Many CIOs have turned to outsourced solutions for handing a number of IT issues such as maintenance and infrastructure in hopes of reducing spending and freeing up in-house staff for more desirable projects, including the perfection and integration of their CRM system.
Until recently, CIOs have not really included data analytics on the list of things to outsource. Businesses are now starting to enhance their in-house analytics with external providers.
These providers help to bolster the data businesses already have from their own efforts, such as CRM system data, with their own data consisting of observations from a number of sources across a wide range of demographics. They then apply predictive analytics to this combined data to get a clearer picture of how to understand, find and keep customers. Predictive analytics include a range of scores including those forecasting potential fraud, wealth, churn, social influences, shopper type, and recommendations.
Businesses may opt to use such services while they build their own internal capacity for gathering and analysing data from their existing CRM systems or instead of doing just that.
The car rental giant Hertz is one example of a company successfully using outside data expertise to supplement their existing system of data collection and interpretation. In short, the analytics outsourcing done by Hertz has allowed the company to give their customers a voice and to really hear what they are saying, which is a key to successful and effective customer relationship management.
Companies just starting up or those modifying their existing CRM scheme may consider outsourcing analytics services to speed up the delivery of new products and services as well as to provide upgraded technology to their client base. It can be a short-term solution to help figure out a more permanent data analytics strategy, or it can be the ideal solution for companies that have limited time and resources.
DirecTV enjoys massive sales success thanks to CRM
Thanks to integrated sales and an effective CRM system, DirecTV has been able to capture more customers than ever.
In the past, handling DirecTV sales calls was a real juggling act – one in which agents would be constantly referring to cue cards, punching numbers, toggling between applications, and jotting down notes. The company also had three outsourced call centres, all using their own customer records.
Back then, nothing was consolidated and it started affecting productivity and DirecTV’s £18 billion bottom line.
"If you started the sales process and then hung up to check with your [the customer’s] wife, the next time you called in, you'd be routed to a different call centre and a different agent and none of that original information would have been captured," explains Mike Benson, DirecTV’s CIO.
With a little legwork and planning, DirecTV officials are happy to say that their new CRM system, which is completely integrated, works seamlessly with all their call centres and office locations globally. Sales agents now have a real-time, whole view of the customer at any given moment.
This new CRM system has garnered some pretty fantastic results. Call-handle times have been reduced and the percentage of calls that convert to sales has increased. Furthermore, agent training has been streamlined, making it possible for new hires to hit performance goals within a week or so of getting on the floor.
Real-time guidance similar to that of DirecTV is growing in popularity among businesses, especially those with call centres across a number of locations. End-to-end CRM tools improve productivity and cut operating costs, which are two very important factors in success.
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